Saturday, June 23

Brew Co. will close, to be replaced by seafood restaurant

The Westwood Brewing Company, a popular bar and restaurant among UCLA students commonly known as Brew Co., will close its doors this summer after almost two decades in the Village.

The bar, located at 1097 Glendon Ave., will serve its last drink anytime from late June to August, depending on when the current owners can finish the real estate transaction and transfer their liquor licences, said George Workman, the general manager of Westwood Brewing Company.

The Boiling Crab, a seafood chain, will move into the space, said Steve Sann, the chair of the Westwood Community Council.

Workman said the reason for the closure was the owner’s desire to focus on other projects. He added that the Westwood Brewing Company has not been profitable since 2008, in part because of a decrease in the number of customers.

“Ever since the recession we have made less,” Workman said. “Instead of buying eight shots of Patrón (like they used to) we have people buying eight waters and two $8 beers.”

The eatery was sold for $450,000, reduced from $595,000, according to real estate listings.

The owners of the Westwood Brewing Company and The Boiling Crab could not be reached for comment after multiple phone calls and emails.

Workman said he plans to host a few closing events for the restaurant’s patrons, including a comedy show that brings back old acts.

The local community reacted to the closure on Twitter:



Compiled by Erin Donnelly, Bruin senior staff. 


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  • CRAB

    I do not like the name Boiling Crab…do they boil crabs alive?

    • Leo

      It is an extremely popular cajun style of seafood that started in orange county! Order the the whole she bang medium spicy shrimp!

  • GoodRiddance

    Hey manager, how about you blame yourself for letting your restaurant serve perennially bad food, as opposed to blaming all the customers who for whatever reason continued to patronize your establishment, but didn’t buy “eight shots of Patrón.” How disrespectful.

  • Austin Rose

    This is absolutely horrific! I am devastated! BrewCo has been a fundamental part of my UCLA experience and I am sad I won’t be able to return in the future and reminisce about fun college nights. At least it’s happening after graduation; I’m so sad for all of you younger folk.

    • Josh Chang

      Try Boiling Crab and you will not miss brewco. I’m seriously contemplating returning to UCLA for med school or doing another PhD because of this development.

  • Orange County knows what’s up

    Boiling Crab… Only the best thing ever. Maybe people will be sad this place is gone because it’s been there for so long but I promise everyone, once you eat at Boiling Crab, you won’t even remember what bar/restaurant was there before.


    when will boiling crab open?

    • BC

      soon, brotha.
      real soon.

  • Pumped up

    Soooo pumped for the boiling crab!!!!!!!!!

  • hmm

    i have mixed feelings about this.

    brew co is like a staple to westwood when you finally turn 21..

    but boiling crab is freaking delicious.

  • Jon Landis

    Some fond memories from college but.the owners were major jerks. Glad their business failed

  • Bsf

    Boiling crab is great but all you commenters are just stupid, if I want boiling crab ill drive to ktown if you want it walking distance you clearly want to be 300 pounds. Brew co was the only decent bar in Westwood. Ucla students are honestly f***ed now. Its a very sad day.

    • westwood lover

      Would wanting to be within walking distance to a bar equate to one wanting to be an alcoholic or black-out drunk?? of course not…so why make that analogy for the a restaurant? So don’t blame the boiling crab here. They were probably looking to into Westwood or West LA way before the Brew co. went up for sale. I’ve heard that they tried to lease the old chili’s space on westwood blvd. but the deal fell apart somehow. Yes, it sucks that the brew co. is closing down…huge bummer…but I would rather have a fun popular eatery there than yet another vacant restaurant or retail space in here in the village. Have some perspective, people…

  • Joey

    The property only sold for $450,000? Does anyone else not understand how that is possible? If that is the actual price I am sure a handful of UCLA alums would have been totally down to keep BrewCo open. I love boiling crab, but this is seriously a huge loss for the Westwood community and future UCLA students who must now resort primarily to Maloney’s.

    • Chris

      Sure, but it’s equally unbelievable that a bar with hardly any competition located right next to a university of 40,000 students would be unable to turn a profit. These owners were clueless. Who knows what kinds of problems the property developed over time.

    • Westwood in-the-know

      FYI, the Westwood Brewing Company BUSINESS was most recently listed for sale at $450,000, but that listing did NOT include either the building OR the land. Just the “fixtures, furnishings, equipment, permits, and liquor license, and what is known in the industry as ‘business goodwill’ – or the intangible assets of a business”. Purchasing the building and the real estate would have cost AT LEAST $3 to $5 million additional dollars, since that is a very large and prominent corner property in Westwood Village, with 9,310 square feet on three levels (including basement). Also, it is not confirmed that the Boiling Crab owners actually agreed to pay the most recent $450,000 asking price. It is very likely that the Boiling Crab could have negotiated a better price, since the listing was dropped from $595,000 a while ago, and the listing had been on the market for quite a while. The Brew Co. general manager stated that the business has not been profitable since 2008, so the owners obviously were eager to sell what has been a money-losing proposition for them for the past five years. The listing reported sales of $2 million in 2007-08 which dropped to $1.45 million in 2011, more than a 25% loss in sales in just three years. The owners of the Brew Co. business were obviously motivated sellers.

  • Blue and Gold Forever

    I am always upset that owners of local businesses only blame their decline on the recession. This is never the case. Businesses fail to look at their customer service skills, marketing, and quality of work done. In Brew Co.’s case the employees there were always unfriendly, and more concerned about getting laid by their customers. My female friends on the other hand had no problem scoring free drinks from the douchy bartenders. Their mixed drinks were almost always epic fails to me. It had the set up to be a huge hotspot in Westwood, but they did not factor in their location and clientele.

  • john

    Maybe if they didn’t card so restrictively, they would have had more patrons like Maloneys.. just saying.

  • CrabFace

    Saw this coming from a mile away. I used to throw UCLA parties there until the bartenders started forcing my guests to pay in cash because they were worried about spliting tips at the end of their shifts. How’s that working out now? Reservation for Boiling Crab please.

  • :(

    =( Brewco is the most fun bar in Westwood, it’s a shame that it’s closing.

  • Raymond Wang

    Seriously don’t understand how this can not be profitable. If the bartenders didn’t give out free drinks all the time to girls (I have a friend who has gotten at least $300 in free drinks and I’ve seen it) and the owners actually knew how to run a business, this would have been a no-brainer.

    A quick remodel with fresh colors, targeted advertising, get bartenders that know how to mix drinks and don’t give free drinks out, encourage people to throw their birthday parties there and it’s a home-run. You already have a ton of space and a loyal customer base, all thrown away due to incompetence. It’s a damn shame the younger kids won’t get a real bar experience (get real, Maloney’s and Barney’s aren’t the same).

  • Guest

    This is largely a reflection of incompetent ownership and a community council that does not favor bars in Westwood. To shed some light; the owners who took over the Brew Co. in 2003 are major real estate players in K-town somewhat explains the reduced rate sale to The Boiling Crab. As mentioned below this is a business sale only. The property itself is leased. The Brew Co. was only a small part of a larger property portfolio to these owners. They were never really cared about the property and allowed their son to mismanage the helk out of it. This began to show when the menu became confused and food preparation sloppy, the run down appearance and low grade/no name brands of alcohol and beer. A lot of clientele began to choose other places to patron when they knew they couldn’t get the drink they wanted but maybe something like it — and limited at that. Also, for a place that was covered in flat screens the ownership only equipped the place with basic cable (no sports packages to air games) and no sounds system to speak of outside of the juke box that may or may not annoy you. Additionally the Westwood Community Council keeps a tight vice on what bars can and can’t do in the area. The Brew Co. property is huge! Why not have a couple of pool tables, an air hockey table and/or maybe some fun arcade games? That would certainly have attracted some people their way. But alas, such things are not permitted by the council. Don’t let the shuffle board at Barney’s fool you, it was petitioned for. So was their happy hour and that sign just inside the door that says “No Dancing” isn’t a fun poke at Footloose – you really can’t dance there. So in short, go easy on the guys that worked at the Brew Co. Their ownership sucked and they became apathetic. Ultimately the loss of The Brew Co is a reflection of that. (One sub note – the building lease alone is about $30k a month. When the average tab is only $10 it’s hard to stay a float)